ONEONTA, N.Y. – Seniors Chris Gilkes (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Hayden Ward (Montauk, N.Y.) combined to score 42 points, but it would not be enough as the Oswego State men’s basketball team (9-2, 2-2 SUNYAC) lost to Oneonta (2-9, 1-4), 67-57, Tuesday night.
The Red Dragons shot a blazing 53.1 percent from the floor and went 91.7 percent from the charity stripe to sink the Lakers, who had only three other players score.
Gilkes tied a career-high 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting to go along with a team-high eight boards, while Ward finished with 19 points and six rebounds. Oneonta was paced by 22 points from Zach Mager followed by 13 points from Frankie Kelly and 10 from Jackson Zuvic.
Oswego State held a 15-8 lead with 12:22 on the clock following a Ward layup before the Red Dragons began to chip into the deficit.
A three-pointer by Jack Dignan gave Oneonta the lead for goal at 24-23 with 3:17 left in the half. The Red Dragons later took a four-point advantage into intermission.
Elijiah McLaurin (Fr., Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) tied the game at 32-all three minutes into the second half, but Oneonta responded by going on a 9-1 run to push its lead back to eight points. However, a Gilkes steal was converted into a trey from Ward and Gilkes drained a basket on the next possession to bring the Lakers to within three points at 41-38 with 12:10 to play.
The deficit grew back to 11 points, but Oswego State continued to battle as a Sean Michele (Sr., East Rochester, N.Y.) three-pointer made the score 61-57 with 1:10 remaining. Oneonta scored a layup on its next possession and sank its final four free throws to clinch the win.
Oswego State will look to get back on track Friday at home against Fredonia at 8 p.m.